Fresh US Guidelines For H-1B Visa Holders Who Have Been Laid Off

The USCIS guidelines outline various avenues for these individuals.

New Delhi:

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced fresh guidelines for H-1B visa holders who have been terminated from their jobs. Recently, major corporations like Google, Tesla, and Walmart have announced sweeping layoffs, affecting the lives of many immigrant workers on H-1B visas. 

The USCIS guidelines outline various avenues for these individuals, offering a chance to extend their stay. So what are the options beyond the 60-day grace period for someone on H-1B visa who has lost their job?

  1. File for a change of nonimmigrant status within the grace period
  2. File an adjustment of status application
  3. File an application for “compelling circumstances” under which workers may qualify for a one-year Employment Authorisation Document (EAD).
  4. File an application to become beneficiary of a nonfrivolous petition to change employer

Additionally, USCIS says the concept of portability, enables eligible H-1B nonimmigrants to transition smoothly to new employment opportunities. This flexibility allows individuals to begin work with a new employer as soon as a nonfrivolous H-1B petition is filed, without waiting for its approval.

Workers who are eligible to apply for immigrant visas through self-petitioning can submit their petitions at the same time as they apply to adjust their status. While their adjustment applications are being processed, these workers can stay in the U.S. and acquire an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). In cases where individuals have been granted immigrant visa petitions based on employment and are facing significant challenges, they may be eligible for a one-year EAD.